Press Trust of India
September 24, 2010 17:59 IST
Hollywood heartthrob Leonardo
DiCaprio will be visiting India soon to see tigers in the wild
and raise global awareness about their dwindling numbers.
The Titanic star is the ambassador for the World
Wildlife Fund (WWF) and met Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh to discuss potential ways for him to get
involved in the cause of the Indian tiger.
"He (DiCaprio) is very keen to work on tiger
conservation. He wants to take on a more visible role.
Somebody like him could play an important role in sensitizing
the global community to the cause of the Indian tiger," Ramesh
said in an interview.
Earlier this year, DiCaprio had visited Nepal to
assess the preservation programmes in place to save the
species which is on the brink of extinction.
There are only an estimated 3,200 tigers left in the
wild and India's tiger reserves are home to a sizeable chunk
of the global tiger population.
"Leonardo has now started traveling around the world
looking at tigers, trying to assess the role of climate change
on tiger habitats. We are inviting him to India. We want to
get him to India and working with India on the issue of
climate, forests and habitats," said Kevin Conrad, the
executive director of the Coalition for Rainforest Nations.
No date has been set yet for DiCaprio's visit but it
is expected to be in the next couple of months.
"Right now it is celebrity and a cause, let's take it
from there," said Ramesh.
The 35-year-old actor is a keen environmentalist and
is already working with Papua New Guinea to raise awareness
about the impact of climate change on their forests.
"Tigers are endangered and critical to some of the
world's most important ecosystems," the actor had said in a
public message released by WWF in May.
"Key conservation efforts can save the tiger species
from extinction, protect some of the planet's last wild
habitats and help sustain the local communities surrounding
them. By protecting this iconic species, we can save so much
more," he added.